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My thoughts about medication

Paratyphoid and other nightmares


When I was cleaning the attic I found a box full of packets that contained medicine for pigeons. It was a gift from my friend the late Mt Lin Yun Ta.

None of the packets had even been opened so I threw that costly rubbish away.

This medication I read was against:

Coccidioses, worms, canker, paratyphoid, respiratory problems (different stuff), Coli, Circo virus, stress, for a good moult and so on.

Why did I threw it away?

My friend meant well but I just do not need at all that stuff.



It made me think of some e-mails I get.

There are e-mails such as the following:

- I have bought good birds and what I need now is good medicine. Can you advise me Mr Ad?


- I want to become a pigeon fancier. Can you advise me where to buy birds and what medicine I need to be a successful racer?

And more similar questions.

It seems that many people, especially foreigners, strongly believe that medicine is something you absolutely need to be successful in this sport.

This is far from true.

You need good birds, of course. And for those birds you need a loft, food, a timer and a good handler. Medicine you only need just in case. And this does not often happen to good pigeon men.



I would not say that birds cannot get sick but this is far less common than people think. Especially those fanciers that often medicate get the most health problems with their birds. And the bad thing is that they often medicate against something that the birds are not suffering from.

On a longer term they are literally killing their family.

The champions in Holland and Belgium who say that they seldom medicate are not all liars as some think.

Moreover: Why medicate when birds are in good shape?

Do you yourself take medicine when you are healthy?

Fanciers tend to forget that medicine is created to cure birds that are sick and not to make birds fly faster.  

Furthermore medication is often done in the wrong way.

Medicine in the drinker in very cold weather (in winter) is useless since birds hardly drink then. In very hot weather less of the medicine should be given since birds drink very much then.

Furthermore some medicate only part of their birds when something is wrong.

This is a big mistake. They should ALL be treated at the same time.

And' many fanciers medicate too shortly. One period of 6 days is better than 2 periods of 3 days. Cures of one day against whatever disease, are useless and dangerous!    



I never treat against it. Only birds that are weakened by something else may have coccidioses, especially when kept in a humid loft.

Paratyphoid is often accompanied by coccidioses.

Birds that come from a hard race and are weakened may have coccidioses.

Give them a rest, put them in a dry environment and the coccidioses will go away without any treatment.



Canker was a real problem for many in the past.

A few years ago vets complained and feared that they could not keep it under control because of an ever increasing resistance.

And what happened?

Today it is no problem any more for a lot of fanciers. The last time that I treated my birds is now 5 years ago. I have stuff in the house though, just in case. But so far I did not need it.


I never treated against worms either, though it must be said, they may be a problem. But it is pretty rare and of course, if pigeons have worms you have to medicate.



Are mostly mentioned together since there is often a combination of the two.

Having your birds tested on Coli is useless since I know the answer beforehand:

Positive since all birds have Coli.

Adeno may be a serious problem though since it is a virus. The medicine the vet will give is against Coli since an abundance of these bacteria creates the problem of Adeno and once the coli are eliminated you have a greater chance of getting your birds healthy again soon. And 3 days only water, no food at all.


Respiratory problems

Are a nightmare for many, especially for those who medicate! They fall into a circle.

Medication is the first step to get infected birds soon again.

The question should not be how to cure the birds but how to prevent an outbreak.

A good loft is really important for that.

Nevertheless you sometimes may have problems but very seldom. In that case you need a vet indeed. Never give medicine without his advice. For the common fancier it is very difficult to see if the problem is herpes, Chlamydia, ornithose and so on.



So my cabinet contained also stuff to help the birds through the moult. I do not believe in it either, nor do I believe in special food mixtures to help birds through the moult smoothly. Healthy birds will moult without all that. It is in their nature. If there is anything that maybe useful it is Sedochol.   



According to dr. De Weerd and some colleagues the most serious thing you have to watch out for is paratyphoid.

I need not describe the symptoms, they are well known.

Why Salmonella must be taken so serious?

Because pigeons that look healthy and even achieve well may be carriers of the bacteria and spread the disease.

In case of an infection you have no other choice than to take action.

That means you have to cure for about 8 days (Baytril has the preference of many scientists) then you should needle the birds and cure them again.

This should be repeated, some say after a month, others say after half a year. The year that follows you should do the same twice and the following years only once.



As you will see the birds will suffer a lot from the injection if it is done with Colombovac PT. It may take them a week to recover.

But that is what it looks like.  

Many fanciers found that they got problems when they started breeding with these birds 3 weeks after the injection.

It is too early. Birds are only completely recovered the day that you find lots of little feathers in the loft. This may be 6 weeks or more after the injection.

The same we often see with Adeno/Coli.

Fanciers medicate the birds, after a week or so they look good again and they begin to train or race them.

The result may be that many young birds get lost.

They should have more patience. You may only put the birds in the baskets again when they fly spontaneously for at least an hour or when they take a bath.



I often write that giving our pigeons vitamins is a waste, even after a treatment.

This winter I spoke with several vets and scientist.

They all agree.

Most of them are in favour of Electrolytes and minerals.

Dr. Stijn Gijsbrechts even says that after a cure against paratyphoid Electrolytes are very useful provided they do not contain vitamins.

So dear fellow pigeon fancier:

Believe in the good birds and not in good medicine. I know lots of fanciers, simple people without much education, who hardly know the names of all those sicknesses or medicine but who are hard to beat in the races.

I am sure you also know such people.   



Never needle birds that suffer from Paratyphoid without a treatment with antibiotics like Baytril before!